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6 TED Talks To Help You Live Longer, And Make You Excited For Future Tech

Posted on 17 September 2020

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Do you want to live a longer, healthier life? TED talks gather expert speakers from across the world to discuss science, technology, business and more in freely available talks. If you want to learn about longevity research, and how you can harness scientists’ findings to improve your own longevity and quality of life, there is a wealth of information to be found here.

What follows are our top picks for longevity TED talks you should watch.

1. The science of cells that never get old – Elizabeth Blackburn

If you’re at all interested in ageing research, you’ve probably heard of telomeres – the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes that become shorter each time a cell divides. Telomere shortening is one of the drivers of ageing, and scientists are interested in whether restoring telomere length could be a path to lifespan extension. But what if you could influence the length of your telomeres just by changing your mindset, thereby slowing your rate of ageing? If that sounds intriguing, you need to watch this talk by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn.

2. How young blood might help reverse ageing. Yes, really – Tony Wyss-Coray

A potential anti-ageing therapy exists today, and is routinely practised in hospitals. It’s called a blood transfusion – specifically, blood from younger donors may be capable of reversing ageing in the elderly. This has already been demonstrated multiple times in mice, and now researchers are looking for ways to apply this science to humans. Here, Tony Wyss-Coray discusses his research in this field, which is still ongoing.

3. The secret to living longer may be your social life – Susan Pinker

Social interaction is a powerful predictor of longevity, but why? In this talk, Susan Pinker covers the science behind this relationship. Why are social bonds important for a long and healthy life, and what counts as social interaction anyway? Is exchanging text messages enough to increase your lifespan?

4. What will humans look like in 100 years? – Juan Enriquez

Would you be willing to lose your arm to have it replaced with a prosthetic? What if the prosthetic was superior to your arm in every way? What about modifying and enhancing your existing organs, or altering your genome to make you more resistant to disease? By such means, humans could become exceptionally long-lived, but is it ethical to evolve the human body? Humanity may have to answer this question sooner than you think. In this talk, Juan Enriquez argues that evolving our species through technology is not only ethical, but imperative.

5. Epigenetic clocks help to find anti-ageing treatments – Steve Horvath

Epigenetic clocks are a big deal in ageing research. They allow scientists to approximate the true biological age of a cell by measuring changes to DNA molecules that occur throughout life. In this talk, Steve Horvath discusses epigenetic clocks, and why they are important in the search for anti-ageing therapies.

6. How to live to be 100+ – Dan Buettner

Humans can live to be over 100 years old, yet only a tiny proportion of us reach that age. What makes these people different, and can we learn from them to increase our chance of attaining a similar lifespan? In this talk, Dan Buettner tries to answer these questions.

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